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Saw this article the other day, and it really hit home. In your personal practices or in the greater pagan community, how many of these have you seen, and is there a cure or prevention for the problem getting worse?

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mariana-caplan-phd/spiritual-living-1...

The descriptions are in the article (and need to be looked at so you can see whT the author means by these), but the ten are:

1. Fast-food spirituality.
2. Faux spirituality.
3. Confused motivations.
4. Identifying with spiritual experiences.
5. The spiritualized ego.
6. Mass production of spiritual teachers.
7. Spiritual pride.
8. Group mind.
9. The Chosen-People complex.
10. The deadly virus: "I have arrived".

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The only one listed I don't agree with maybe in its context, is the #4 identifying with spiritual experience. I don't consider that to be a disease. My spiritual experiences shape my personality and broaden my mind to higher levels of interacting with reality. Spiritual experiences are supposed to teach you, guide you, and heal you.

Spiritual diseases can really be fixed with energy healing, once a person realizes they are "afflicted".

I think for me, I've seen a lot of these come up.

For #1, you see that a lot with people who come in and want a spell to fix some problem that really takes a lot of effort to change. (I want a spell to fix a love life. I want a spell to lose weight. I want a spell to get a job. I want a spell to get rich.)

The #2 reminds me of some of the more extreme folks in places like Salem, but it does come up elsewhere. If you say that you have to dress like a LARPer or a Ren-Faire reject in your day-to-day life because it makes you "more pagany", then that's a prime example of that issue.

Sometimes #3 seems to show up when you ask people why they want to be a practitioner of whatever path they're asking about. I can't count the number of times when someone says that they want to be a witch, but they can't actually say why. Sometimes it is just a lack of the lingo, but sometimes it is that they think being a witch will solve a certain problem that it has nothing to do with.

I certainly am guilty of #4, but I think most people who blog about spiritual things are--the idea that you suddenly have had this massive insight into the way the universe works and that you are somehow some sort of chosen message deliverer. I do agree, it doesn't seem to be quite as horrific as some of the others, but maybe because it tends to be more short-lived?

#5 is an absolute pet peeve of mine, and it goes hand in hand with #7 and #9. It comes out in the pagan community a LOT with talking down about other spiritual paths. (The most obvious is pagans speaking down about Christians, but I've heard it within paganism talking down about other pagan paths, too.) It also shows up more generally with the whole "I'm spiritual, so I'm better than someone who doesn't have my kind of spirituality."

Sometimes I think #6 is wholly embodied by this site. It seems like there's a lot of people who rush through the 1* class and then say they are a teacher who wants to start a coven as a mighty clergy person. It is something that troubles me on a regular basis.

I've experienced #8 at various times in my paths. Eclecticism is a good way to fight this, except that eclectics just replace the "group mind" of interactions with people with "group mind" done by everyone following the same couple of books.

But by and large, I don't think I see much of #10. I do see a lot of people who hit plateaus (myself, currently, fits in there), but I don't think we see it as an end-all-be-all....instead, it is seen as a problem, which is a good thing.

Spells are great for changing love situations, money etc. I can attest to that because I can see the results. Whatever your spiritual path, if it's not working for you in your day to day life then to me its fruitless efforts. I wouldn't be on my path if I didn't see positive results.

People who want to be a witch are usually drawn to it, because they want knowledge, even if they can't articulate it right away. They may be guided by an inner passion for it, they can't understand yet, so I don't see it as a disease.

If someone wants to dress like they're a guru, by all means better than killing people.
I appreciate people who blog their spiritual ideas, its a learning tool for me, as long as its honest I don't see the harm in that certainly not a disease.

I have very strong views about Catholicism, I don't like people pushing their multi-version bible down my throat. For instance.

I was walking to a restaurant and this Planned Parenthood protestor, was screaming from her mic stand at me asking me (very loudly) if I was going to planned parenthood? I ignored her and kept walking and she was like " excuse my lady, excuse me lady, I know you hear me!"

finally I turned around and spoke to her in latin, an incantation I know to get rid of annoying pests.

And, kept walking to the restaurant, ate, talked shit about her to the waitresses, who all attested they get harassed by this group just coming to work.

When I left she and her protest group were gone.

I don't despise her for her beliefs, but I did get pissed off, not about her religion all though it was her religion and her interpretation of it that guided her to harass me. She was very neurotic.

I've had real encounters with people with spiritual disease, the "I'm God complex" I'm more powerful than you", this can only be remedied by that person being humbled.

My ex-occult teacher was so pissed at me for leaving the "family" he hired practitioners to try to kill me. What spiritual disease does that fall under? Just plain ol psychosis. Literally during that time, years ago, every psychic around the corner had a message for me about him and what he was orchestrating.

Very interesting article. Gives you a lot to think about. Thanks!

and what catagory does the author fall?lol people are just people being themselves. I rather enjoy looking at young people dressed pagany they are not hurting anyone and just expressing the onlyway they know how. My god can anybody do anything right or even try to express themselves without someone jydging them or tearing them apart and saying they have a disease? Where is compassion and e
Pathy for our fellow man? So what if someone takes the first class and wants to share what they have learned. It means they believe in what they are doing. We shouldnt discourage them and tell them they dont have a right to say anything ir try. People are just people doing the best they can with what they have and the best they are able to understand. This kind of snobbery is just what drives people away from wicca and paganism. Live and let live. Please excuse the spelling errors i have a droid phone and installed a flash browser and ut is about impossible to go back and correct spelling errors.

This article is about spirituality in general, not just about Wicca or paganism. But that does bring up an interesting difference of mindset--other religions seem to be able to have practitioners who enjoy themselves and can find spiritual fulfillment without playing dress-up games. And it is troubling that someone who "dresses pagan" is taken more seriously than someone who dresses "normally". This happens not only within the "community", but also in the media. When media comes calling for the normal October witch piece, I can't count the number of witches who show up in professional wear (pantsuits for the women, suits for the men) and are asked by the media to go change into "witch stuff" because they don't find it believable that a witch can dress normally. It is certainly something to consider.

Got any thoughts on the other nine items in the article as well?

I was talking about the whole article jul. Do you know what i find disturbing in the world jul? People being burned to death in africa. Not what someone wears.people are all on different levels of their own spirituality and iam quite sure they will figure it all out in the end. If they are to extreme or to prideful or just plain a little strange. Well thats what makes the world go round. It would be boring if we were all the same and wore pantsuits lol.this us kinda telling people how to be and act. Some people just need more attention than others and willfind some way to get it. And if they need it is it really gonna hurt anything to give it to them. If you are secure in your own spirituality and self as long as bobody is causing physical and mental harm does it really matter. If you are and spirituality advanced person in this world you know when you meet people who is false and who is right. You dont need the medua to dictate what to think. I have faith in people that they arent complete idiots. If they do believe and follow an extremist well then it is probably a life lesson or karma at play.

But you see it *does* harm others, including those being burned in Africa. When people dress oddly and say that it is a requirement of their path to dress like something wicked or evil (by societal standards), they help reinforce stereotypes that fuel the kinds of things that you are troubled by in Africa (and in other continents as well). I have no problem with someone dressing however they want when they're playing around doing whatever, but when they say it is a *requirement* of their path to dress abnormally, that's where I take issue--there is no dress code for paganism. If pagans want to be taken seriously, they have to dress the part when being public spokespersons for paganism. When I'm in circle in a coven setting, I'm dressed quite differently from what I do when I'm interviewing or being interviewed by the media for a piece about my life as a witch. My goal, when I'm being a public representation of paganism, is to be seen as the most normal person as possible...because normal means non-threatening, which means it assists people in the U.S. and abroad who are fighting the assumption that Witches, Wiccans, and Pagans are freaks of nature who should be destroyed.

As far as being a spiritually advanced person, I'm not sure there is any such critter--we are all people on a spiritual path, but no one is more or less advanced than anyone else.

We are not going to agree on anything. It is not the way people are dressed why they are being burned in africa. That is ridiculous. Most tribes do not even own a tv or seen an english magazine.so that is not even a factor. It is the spread of ignorance and teaching the bible as literal. I do not know anyone who thinks the way you say people are thinking. Maybe 20years ago lol. Most people are pretty accepting of wicca and know what it is. Where do you live?

You'd be surprised how modern Africa has become. They have TVs. They have cell phones. They are also very much influenced by pastors who have ties to organizations here in America and vice versa. (Case in point, remember the whole debacle about Thomas Muthee coming from Kenya to the U.S. to "anoint" Sarah Palin during her run for the vice presidency on the basis of his ability to destroy witches? If you're not familiar, here's some coverage, complete with video. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/max-blumenthal/the-witch-hunter-anoin... )

I live just outside of Washington DC, and it is remarkably liberal here. Previously, I lived down the street from Pat Robertson in Virginia, and I remember attending rituals where there were threats of weapons being brought to the event, and we had "prayer warriors" standing outside the circle praying for our salvation. Thankfully, that's the only weapon they managed to bring. ;)

But a good example of what I'm talking about involves two aspects of life--festivals and jewelry. Because I tend to take work shifts at pagan festivals that mean a lot of down and dirty type of things (hauling firewood, trash patrol, and other things that people tend not to want to do because they are "too spiritual" and/or physically infirm), I tend to wear jeans and t-shirts--and not pagan t-shirts. I have been questioned more than once about whether I was an attendee at a festival because I wasn't dressed in a sarong with a belly dance top, as this is the "norm" for festivals in this area (or at least the ones that require clothing!).

I've also attended events where myself (and others) were treated out of place because we were not wearing a pentacle necklace. I've been told to my face that the only way to tell a "real pagan" is that they wear a pentacle--and this was being told by supposed "real pagans". ;)

But while item #2 on the list is an annoyance, I am far more concerned about items 5, 7, and 9. My guess is that #2 will eventually be grown out of as paganism as a movement grows along, 5, 7, and 9 will continue to become more problematic.

i think people want entertained and exspect us to dress up-but your right it doesnt make it right and can be annoying because they are not taking wicca as a religion seriously.

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